Mom’s Chicken Soup

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Check out the delicious homemade soup I made from my chicken pot pie scraps and stock!!

After defrosting my stock and chicken scraps, I simply boiled some soup veggies, and simmered everything together in a pot for twenty minutes! So comforting, light and yummy! It hit the spot!!

Try yours with chopped carrot, celery, onion, fennel, potatoes and some fresh herbs. Then grab a hunk of your favorite bread, and simply add some salt, pepper and oil to garnish. I also like making crotons with stale bread.

3 Variations of Classic Pizza Recipes That Will Revamp Your Summer Routine

Classic Marinara

Marinara: Cutting the basil into this ribbons and spreading it over the dough before the cheese really helps to give the pizza a wonderful summer flavor, while also adding tons of color!

4 cheese pizza with prosciutto and dried dates
Prosciutto & Dried Date: The combination of sweet and salty in this dish makes for a really intense, fun and unique experience.
4 Cheese with Arugula

4 Cheese & Arugula: This is my favorite of the 3 variations, it is packed with delicate flavors and chewy textures and leaves a subtle hint of pepper in it's wake. Great for the summer!

Check back tomorrow for the recipes!

Fig & Olive– to be continued Saturday

My oh my has it been a while. I apologize to all of my readers whole heartedly for ignoring my responsibilities for so long. I must admit that I got caught up with my life back in NY. Although I haven’t been writing I can promise that I will slowly recount all of my latest Manhattan adventures that have occurred over the last few weeks.

First off, I would like to address the location of my building– the Time & Life Building. Coming to work here every day is both  enticing to my senses as a foodie, and admittedly utterly inconvenient.  While this area of Manhattan is teeming with restaurants, most of them are either chains packed with executives on break, or tourist engorged, over-priced rendezvous spots. I have ventured out on rare occasion to find hidden gems nestled in the Midtown scene, and I know there are many out there, but must admit I have not been the least bit lucky so far… perhaps my usual food-bound compass is turned around after being away at school so long. Either way, I am still on the hunt for a miracle to inspire me.

Until that time I have been lucky enough to be experimenting with my mother’s amazingly capable Kitchen Aid– my latest accomplishment is a lemon zest, vanilla bean-glazed cranberry zucchini bread.  This basic recipe is incredible, and I have already begun altering it to my own specifications. In the next week I will be sure to post my recipe for a zucchini walnut bread with a crushed cranberry honey glaze.

Last Thursday I tried Fig & Olive  on Fifth, and was sourly disappointed. Having tried a series of crostini, a tartlet, a carpaccio dish, and two glasses of wine, I was unsatisfied and nauseous. It takes a lot to make me feel this way. If you are at all interested in hearing the sad details of this experience please check in again over the weekend.

Good to be back!

-Berrygoodeats-

Arugula and Steak Salad

Steak and arugula are two are my favorite things, so naturally, combining the two is sublime in my opinion. This is a great recipe for a light lunch or dinner; it is fast, filling, and crisp. I usually make this with small steak filets, maybe 2-5 oz at most, and a big pile of salad to balance out the lack of meat portion. Also, I don’t use fatty steak like hanger or strip; rather I buy center cut pieces for a nice fresh lean piece of meat.

I really enjoy this dish because I don’t feel guilty after eating it, and I can buy the steak in packages of 3 thus leaving two more pieces for another night. Arugula also usually lasts about a week in the fridge, so buying a big bag every week if you enjoy it is a great way to save because you can either eat it alone or add it your regular salad for a peppery taste.

Also, I usually have all of the filler ingredients in this dish in my fridge and pantry so all I need to buy is the steak and the salad. So, if you buy the steak in bulk and then freeze the extra pieces, and also buy arugula every week, this meal could be an easy fix that is always available if you want it!

Lastly, if the steak that you plan on using is frozen, make sure you take it out the night before you want the steak to ensure that it is defrosted. Also, it is alright to add the marinade to the frozen steak so that it marinates while it defrosts.

-Ingredients for marinade-

1 filet steak

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

-Preparation-

Marinate steak for 24 hours. When ready to cook, put a small fry pan on medium high and let it heat up for about 3-5 minutes until scorching hot. Spray pan with Pam, and place steak on for about 2 minutes per side. Repeat once for an overall time of about 8 minutes; this makes steak about medium rare. If you want a more well-done steak add one more turn making it 10 minutes total. After steak is cooked, let rest for about 5 minutes and then slice it thinly.

-Ingredients for arugula salad-

2-3 cups arugula

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsps olive oil

shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

salt and pepper to taste

-Preparation of salad-

Place arugula on plate and drizzle with lemon and oil. Then, add shaved cheese and salt and pepper. Place sliced steak alongside salad on plate and serve!

Enjoy!

Spring Fest Daquiri

 So, now that the Spring Fest festivities have finally begun why not try some yummy daquiris with your friends.This recipe is super yummy both with or without alcohol. I recommend pairing these daiquiris with some chips and salsa or guacamole since the sweet and tangy flavors mix so well with some salty and crisp.

Ingredients-

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 banana, chopped

handful fresh raspberries

1/4 orange juice

splash pineapple juice

2 tbsp. greek yogurt (optional)

1 tbsp. honey

2 cups ice cubes

*** If adding alcohol, this makes about 2 drinks so add 1-2 shots rum

Cool whip

-Preparation-

Place the ice cubes and strawberries in blender with juices and turn on high until all of the ice is crushed and blended with the fruit. Add the banana and turn on medium until blended. Lastly, add the honey, raspberries, yogurt and rum and blend on low-speed. Serve with a dollop of cool whip and enjoy!

Simple, Crisp, Spring Arugula Salad

With spring creeping up around us (very slowly I might add) and Easter just around the corner, I begin to think of lighter foods again in hopes of fitting into last year’s bikini. However, with Easter coming up this weekend, my hopes wait in fear of overdosing on Chocolate Bunnies or Peeps. Knowing full well that I will indeed be giving in to my cravings on Sunday morning… afternoon… and evening, I have created a delicious, simple and cheap recipe to help prepare my body for the impending sugar shock.

Try making this recipe for a group of people; it’s a fun dish to share as an appetizer or light meal. One bag of arugula could feed two big eaters or provide four smaller portions.

This recipe uses the full bag.

-Ingredients-

1 bag, arugula

1/4 lemon, juiced

3 tbsp. shaved parmiggian-reggiano cheese

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

-Preparation-

Rinse and dry the arugula, and place in a flat dish or shallow bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the arugula, and follow with a light drizzle of the oil. Then, add the salt and pepper and toss lightly. Finally, add the shaved cheese as a garnish.

This dish is supposed to be very light, so do not overwork the arugula or overdress with oil or lemon.

It also goes very well with crisp white wine or prosecco, especially ones with citrus notes.

Finally, as I said earlier this is a very light salad and to be honest I usually eat it as a snack or with a meal. I often eat it with cheese and meat, such as prosciutto and mozzarella, or with grilled shrimp.

Look out for my grilled shrimp over arugula salad recipe on Thursday!

A Spring-Inspired Frittata

After being inspired by all of the great venues this week in Gettyburg, I decided to try a new frittata recipe based on the ingredients I had in my fridge at the time. Not only did it turn out great, but it was easy and fast to prepare, and kept me full for most of the day.

Instead of spending even more money at places like Dobbin House Tavern, Tipton’s and the Blue Parrot, I created a sort of potluck egg frittata, omelet creation the other morning to change things up. This egg dish easily feeds two, and can be thrown into a warm tortilla to make a breakfast sandwich if you are on the run.

-Ingredients-

3 eggs, beaten with a tbsp. milk

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 green pepper, chopped

1/4 white onion, chopped

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. oregano

1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and more to taste

-Preparation-

Put a medium to large-sized pan over medium heat. Add the butter, oil, onion and garlic stirring frequently. Beat the eggs with milk, herbs, salt and pepper. As soon as the onion is translucent, and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes, stir in the peppers. After two minutes, add the egg. Treat the egg just like an omelete, letting it set on the pan until it is brown.

Flipping the egg: Then, slide the egg off the pan and onto a cutting board. Place the pan face down over the egg (the uncooked side) and turn over the board. This should flip your egg perfectly. Continue to cook the egg until the other side is also brown.

Serving: Slide the egg off the pan onto the cutting board once more, covering with a bit more salt, pepper, and herbs, cut into slices and serve with some fruit or yogurt. I also like to slice some mozzarella, goat, cheddar or pepper jack cheese and place it on top of the egg in the last few minutes of cooking if you would like to try that.

Also: As I mentioned earlier, you can also put slices of the egg into a warm tortilla for an “on-the-go” wrap.

Try to put some different herbs, or even some hot sauce into the egg to add a little kick! Also, try chopping up some chipotle in adoba sauce for a smoky flavor in the egg.

 

Enjoy!

Five Minute Fried Rice

At times it is very diificult to want to come up with an entire elaborate meal, especially on such small food allowance. Fried rice has become a staple in my diet, for a light lunch, snack, or small dinner at times when I don’t have enough time, ingredients or energy to cook. My recipe uses minimal ingredients, and some pre-cooked food to cut down on cooking time. It also uses ingredients that are most likely always in my fridge and cabinet.

Next time you go to the Grocery Store, pick up some pre-cooked rice for about $2-3 a piece (each box is one serving). Buying rice pre-cooked saves a lot of time and energy, and is well worth the investment unless you eat a lot of rice each week and can make enough fresh-cooked at a time.

The ingredients that I use, such as carrot and egg, can be subsituted for other ingredients like peas and tofu if you wish. This recipe feeds one person.

-Ingredients-

1 package pre-cooked rice (sticky is preferable)

1/2 carrot, finely chopped

1 egg, scrambled

2 tbsp. finely chopped white onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. pepper

salt and sriracha to taste

*I also use a tsp. of hot sesame oil if you have som

-Preparation-

First, put pre-cooked rice in microwave to heat (follow box instructions). Then put oil, butter, onion, carrot and garlic in pan on medium heat to simmer for 3 minutes. Add the egg, salt and pepper and scramble into mixture (takes about 1 minute). After the rice has finished cooking add to the pan with the soy sauce and sriracha. Once the ingredients are combined and cooked to your desired amount(for me it’s about 30 seconds), remove from heat and serve.

Veggie & Steak Stir Fry

I love making stir fry, it’s easy, it’s healthy and you can make it with a wide variety of ingredients. Stir fry is one of the most versatile styles of cooking, allowing you to create a sort of potluck with your fridge and turn it into salty, steamed goodness. I usually cook my stir fry with fresh broccoli , carrots, steak or chicken, and snap peas. However, any variety of veggetables and meats would work also. While I tend to buy fresh veggies because I eat them so quickly, I also recommend buying frozen because they won’t go bad, and are already cooked.

Whether you use my ingredients, or your own, make sure to cook your meats and veggies seperately at first, and then combine them in a fry pan later. For example, if I am using steak and frozen broccoli I would cook my steak first in canola oil with some salt and pepper. I would also defrost the broccoli. Then, I would slice the steak and combine the ingredients together in my stir fry pan.

This is a quick frozen veggie stir fry recipe that includes my favoriet ingredients:

-Ingredients-

 1 head broccoli, chopped and steamed

1/4 cup sliced white onion

1/4 cup sliced red pepper

2 carrots, sliced thin long-ways and then cut in half

3 cups snap peas

1 6 oz steak, fully cooked and sliced thin

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. sesame seed oil (optional)

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger

2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (optional)

2 cups cooked udon noodles/ or 2 cups cooked white/ brown rice

Preparation

First, put water on to boil for the noodles. Then, cook whatever meats and veggetables you are using as directed above.

Then, put oils in pan with garlic, onion, and ginger at medium heat; let simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the onion softens and  you can begin to smell the garlic. Turn up the heat to medium high.  Add veggies and cook for about 3 minutes to soften them. Lastly, add the noodles and steak. Then, immediately add hot sauce and soy sauce. Stir together for about 30 secs-1 minute.

Serve immediately.

Look out for a fast, easy Fried Rice recipe and an easy way to switch up my stir fry recipe in the next week!

Panko Chicken Cutlets with Parmigiano cheese and Grilled Asparagus

Chicken is an extremely versatile meat to cook with, which is why I always keep a package of frozen chicken cutlets in freezer. One of the simplest and most popular ways to serve chicken is fried in olive oil with bread crumbs. While this dish is very yummy, it lacks the little bit of crunch I prefer to have when eating chicken.

Japanese Panko Breadcrumbs are much thicker and crunchier than regular Progresso crumbs. Usually used to make Tempura, panko crumbs add texture to a fried dish without needing a lot of crumbs. Also you can flash fry dishes with tempura and then simply bake them to finish cooking. This makes them very fun to cook with.

Sometimes I try cooking fish, pork and veggies in the panko (adds a wonderful texture), but most of all I love making Panko Chicken. There are many ways to serve the chicken panko style, including: mustard, parmigiano-reggiano, mozzarella, and herbed. Sometimes I even combine all of those flavors to make a super-flavorful chicken dish. Try it with your favorite cheeses and ingredients!

Ingredients-

1 package chicken cutlets, sliced thin  (usually about 1/2 lb)

1 package Panko Bread Crumbs

1 egg scrambled

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

-These are all optional, however I recommend using any combination-

1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. thyme

1 tbsp. basil

-Or-

2 1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard

-Preparation-

First, place the thinly sliced chicken cutlets into a bowl with salted water. Wash off the chicken in the water, and remove any unwanted pieces. Then, dry the chicken and place on paper towel. Set up a row on your counter like an assembly line with the chicken first, then one bowl, and then two large plates. 

In the bowl, scramble the egg. Then, on the first plate mix the panko crumbs and your other spices and ingredients. If you are using mustard then do not mix with the crumbs, wait till further instruction.

After your assembly line is prepared, place a few pieces of chicken at a time in the egg to soak. Then, take one piece at a time and cover liberally with the panko crumb, cheese and herb mixture. Finally, place finished pieces onto the last plate.

***If using mustard, then rub the mustard over the chicken, after the egg and before the panko crumbs.

While making your assembly line, place two medium to large pans on medium-high heat. After all of the chicken is ready to be fried, place about 1-2 tbsp. canola oil in each pan. Make sure to use canola oil, and not coconut or olive oil, because the oil with spatter and burn-off. When the oil and pans are heated, place chicken into both pans and don’t be afraid to try and pack them in closely. Also, make sure there is enough moisture on the pan or else they will burn (you may have to add more oil as you cook).

After about 1 mintute, turn the heat down to medium, and check any pieces that need to be turned. I usually wait for the chicken to turn golden brown with hints of dark brown before turning. For the next 3-5 mintues continue turning and pressing each piece so that they all cook evenly throughout. Chicken should be done when it is no longer spongy to the touch, also if you are unsure just cut the chicken open and make sure it is no longer pink in the middle.

In the last minute of cooking, sprinkle some extra  cheese on top of each piece and turn over to make a crispy crust. Promptly remove from heat (about 10-15 seconds) so the cheese does not burn, and serve immediately.

***For a lighter option, simply fry the chicken for one minute on each side so it turns a golden brown, and then bake for 10 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees.

 

-Side Dish Options-

My two favorite side-dishes for Panko Chicken are steamed broccoli, and baked asparagus.

For the broccoli, simply trim the broccoli head down to the stems and rinse in water. Then place pieces in a bowl with about 3 tbsp. water and steam in microwave covered with plastic wrap for 3-5 minutes.

For the asparagus, clean and trim the asparagus by cutting off the ends (about until there is no white left) and place in a baking pan covered with salt, pepper and olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees, turning occassionally. *** If you are feeling especially bad, try covering asparagus with grated parmigiano cheese before baking it.

Enjoy!